FORT MILL — Tammy Elsey and Heather Hildebrand are masters of the art of time travel.
The pair shared some of their 19th century secrets recently at the Fort Mill History Museum during a presentation on ladies’ clothing of the Civil War.
Both are members of the Palmetto Soldiers Relief Society and the Palmetto Battalion, a non-profit historical reenactment organization. The re-enactors’ clothing choices vary based on the impression they want to give, the specific time and place they are portraying, the weather, the work they will be doing, and similar concerns.
Attention to detail, solid research and historical accuracy are the keys to bringing the past to life in ways no history text can.
“The hobby, at least for me, is a challenge, and the greatest satisfaction is educating the public,” Hildebrand said at the Feb. 23 program.
“Everything had a double purpose. It was practical and simple. You had to be able to take it apart and clean it and take care of it and pay for it.”
“It gets in your blood, and there is a role for everyone,” Palmetto Battalion member Mike Short said. “We are not rednecks; we are historians, and we are interested in portraying things the way they really happened.”
The next reenactment in South Carolina is the Skirmish at Gamble’s Hotel. It will be held March 9-10 at The Columns, the Rankin-Hawell House in Florence. Go to 23rdsc.com for details.